Okay, I’ll admit, I thought Rosh Chodesh wasn’t until Friday, and even then, I wasn’t fully prepared to put together this carnival. It’s been a busy week, what with outings, a field trip, and even a visit to the dentist! Plus, aren’t we all (just a bit) still in vacation mode?
But enough of the excuses… short, sweet, but here it is! In honour of this new month of Shevat, I’m giving this edition the theme of “planting and growing – forests of learning.”
I have to start by saying that finding a new Jewish homeschool blog is always (to me!) a delight. This month, I have discovered a few – though you perhaps knew about them already. Hope you enjoy them right along with me!
learning everyday at home
First up, practicalities! To memorize or not to memorize (soliloquies or otherwise)? Regina offers us Some thoughts on memorization at her blog, Jewish Home Education. If you’re new to homeschooling, or wondering about different homeschooling styles, check out her comprehensive post on Homeschooling philosophies and Jewish education.
While we’re speaking metaphorically of planting and growing our children’s minds, but for some of us, there’s some literal growing happening, too. It’s freezing cold where I am, but down in sunny Australia, it’s a great time time for MimiGhengis to take her kids out for a lesson in Where Food Comes From at her blog, Tinoki Talk.
Listening to nature is harder than it sounds, at least for me. “Narrating over nature” is more like it when I do my best to overcome the Canadian chill and take my kids out for a nature walk in Me and Blather: it’s just my “nature”.
What to feed those hungry homeschoolers to grow them big and strong? Aviva has some tips at her blog Oceans of Joy in, High Protein, Low Carbohydrate Snacks. Of course, the kids are learning, too, not just eating. Here’s a post about Reading Readiness for her 4-year-old – and some special “Abba time” to encourage him.
Abbas are homeschool parents, too! My husband, tedblog, introduces some of the oral storytelling he’s being doing with Naomi in Adventure Stories for Naomi at his VERY occasional blog, Kosher Nice Time Kids. (formerly “Yelling and Crying Time!”)
decemberbaby, an irl friend from the ‘hood, writes about her principles for Montessori-ing her home at sweet & crunchy with a jewy centre . Check out her homemade Tiny Torah, too – a great mama-made alternative to those storebought plush Torahs!
Alpidarkomama, as usual, has a busy few weeks over at her blog, Learning Al Pi Darko, including a week of art projects, more art projects, and even more art projects! You’ve got to see them – these are some artistic kids, and several different styles – it’s incredible when all the kids in a family work around a central theme! (if only I could be so coordinated…)
Like the song goes, “Tu b’shvat higiah…” The trees’ birthday is coming! Check out my Tu b’Shvat / ט”ו בשבת Activity Pack FREE Download! right here at Adventures in MamaLand! I’m feeling only slightly guilty that this is more activities than we get usually to doing for major holidays, like Pesach, but oh, well!
Sometimes, the Jewish messages are the ones that get through. Staying Afloat writes at her blog, And miles to go before I sleep...., about homeschooling five kids, including one with autism. Her post, Appropriate Awe, explores a moment of holiness in her son’s life.
Another new discovery this month: Jessie Fishbein, who writes about wrestling with homeschool chumash: screaming at homeschool chumash. I’ll let her introduce herself: "Teaching chumash is one of the most important subjects, and one of the most challenging. We care so much that our children love Torah. v'shinantam l'vanecha. We want so badly for them to have the skills and the ability. Skills work is a particular challenge for homeschoolers, who have not accepted boredom as a fact of school. Or should I say it is a challenge for the mom/teacher... My oldest "graduated" homeschool (her choice) and is in high school. I am teaching chumash to a 4th grader, with a toddler and an infant for company. I largely "unschool" except for chumash."
Elana Horwitz presents A Rich Torah Curriculum « Morah Elana's Room posted at Morah Elana's Room, saying, "Subbing for my principal Rabbi Yosef Resnick, and for my colleague Morah Miriam Shapiro, has brought me a greater awareness of the variety of classes and levels provided at Room 613."
around the web
A cute blog that has nothing to do with homeschooling and everything to do with nurturing my own growth in Hebrew and Jewish subjects is Balashon: Hebrew Language Detective. Maybe I’m just into obscurities, but I love exploring roots of words that are already a little familiar, like this post about the word Sakin (knife). More than you ever thought you wanted to know… and it’s all fascinating!
Since parsha resources are few and far between (except for mine!), I thought I’d let you know about Parsha 4 Kids, which offers a small post every week with a quick overview of parsha themes and some discussion questions – nothing overwhelming if you’re looking for something easy to start with. For something even shorter, try the Torah in Haiku blog!